Beasts of no Nation

Table of Contents


Poems by Jacob Hershberger

Drawing by Michael Banzhof

TED Talk by Sarah Naumen

Documentary by Carson Salsgiver

Works Cited


What if your life changed completely in the blink of an eye? In “Beasts of No Nation” Agu is a normal school boy, but that all changed when Agu’s Village is attacked, separating him from his family. Agu survives the attack, but he is forced to join the resistance. The story of Agu from “Beasts of No Nation” by Uzodinma Iweala shows the problem of child soldiers in Africa. This is one of the many problems with conflict in Africa, there are more like the Rwandan Genocide and the Civil War. “Children can get injured or killed, uprooted from their homes and communities, internally displaced or refugees, orphaned or separated from their parents and families, subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation, victims of trauma as a result of being exposed to violence, deprived of education and recreation” (Child Soldier Resources). This fact shows how children are being abused in Africa. “From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority” (The Rwandan Genocide). This fact shows the genocide needs to stop. Too many lives have been lost due to this and it can not continue. In the civil war between 50,000 and 300,000 lives were loss. The purpose of our magazine is to help raise awareness for the atrocities that are being committed in Africa. Our artistic products are made to show problems like child soldiers, Rwandan Genocide, and the civil war. We show all of our artistic products in different ways, shown through a document, drawing, poems, and a TED talk.

Once upon a time

By: Jacob Hershberger

Once upon a time I swore I had a heart,

Long before the world I know tore it all apart.

Once upon a time there was a part of me I shared

Years before they took away the part of me that cared.

Once upon a time in a land of subterranean riches,

Bodies of thousands of citizens lay strewn about in ditches


Only war

By: Jacob Hershberger

The children march upon the path

To avoid feeling the commanders wrath

The guns strapped behind their backs

Their moral compass thrown off track.

The children know only war

Born in a life where kindness is poor.



By: Jacob Hershberger

The land was stained with the blood of war

The blood of others many hands bore

Wealth makes people do terrible things

Monsters will do anything to feel like kings.

A small infant or a grown man with a gun

The difference is abundant but to them there is none.


A gust of wind and the rush of water

By: Jacob Hershberger

Have you ever seen a tsunami rush through the streets?

Destroying and obliterating everything in its path.

Have you ever seen a gust of wind blow grains of sand through the air?

Leaving nothing behind in its wake.

The marching of foot soldiers signals this wind,

This rush of water.

The soldiers march through a village.

Leaving nothing behind but debris and bodies.


Now and then

By: Jacob Hershberger

My family once lived in a house in the dirt

Where wealth and food ran thin.

My family once had friends all over.

Who's sons and fathers were forced to work.

Now all I have is brothers in arms.

A leader who doesn't take care of me.

Now all I have is the fear of the bombs

The enemy drawing near to me.

Men all around me dropping down.

Bullets raining down onto me.

Now all I have is the bright white light,

The same light from my birth 12 years before me.


Men who will only...

By: Jacob Hershberger

Children are meant to grow into responsible adults

Yet there are men who will hand them a gun and tell them to kill.

Children are meant to learn how to read write

Yet there are men who will only teach them to end another's life.

Children are meant to be kind and compassionate

Yet there are men who will turn them into senseless murderers.

Children are meant to live full and productive lives

Yet there are men who will cut them short without a second thought.


Double sided blade

By: Jacob Hershberger

There are two sides to every war.

Both sides think they are right and the other is wrong.

However no war has ever determined who is right,

War only determines who is left

By: Micheal Banzhof

My picture is supposed to resemble a child who could be living a normal life, having a childhood and going to school, and the other child is a soldier stripped from having a normal life. This connects to “Beast of No Nation” because the main character Agu is a kid who likes going to school and reading, but his village was attacked and later Agu is forced to join the Resistance, or die. Agu’s story is like a lot of children in Africa that are forced to become soldiers, and it's terrible because these kids deserve to have a childhood where they are safe. Children are deliberately targeted because they are easier to control than adults and can be indoctrinated to perform crimes and atrocities without asking questions. It is estimated that over the last 15 years 10,000 children have been abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) around Gulu in northern Uganda, alone. Over the last ten years, two million children have been killed in battle. Over one million have been orphaned, and over six million have been seriously injured or permanently disabled and over ten million have been left with serious psychological trauma. We can help by taking children in and protecting them from these atrocities. Learn more at

Works Cited:

Image." Picture. N.p., n.d. Web.

Image." Child Soldiers. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.

Understanding the Recruitment of Child Soldiers in Africa - ACCORD." ACCORD. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.

"Child Soldiers in Africa." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2016

"African Safaris & Adventure Travel | Natural Habitat Adventures." & Adventure Travel | Natural Habitat Adventures. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

Iweala, Uzodinma. Beasts of No Nation: A Novel. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006. Print. Staff. "The Rwandan Genocide." A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

News, BBC. "Sierra Leone Profile - Timeline." BBC News. N.p., 18 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

(, Deutsche Welle. "Sierra Leone Survivor Loses Hands, but Not Hope | Globalization | DW.COM | 17.04.2013." DW.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"History." Hands for Africa. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"Washington State University." Fall 2015 Poverty And The Economic History of Sierra Leone Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"Why Do People Fight in Civil Wars? - The Monkey Cage." The Monkey Cage. N.p., 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"Sierra Leonean War." Sierra Leonean War. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Club, TJ. "Sierra Leone Civil War." UWO TJ Club Blog. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"Ensuring Justice for the Victims of Rebel War Crimes - Mission Network News." Mission Network News. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

"The Civil War." Museum of Childhood. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.


Created with images by Photography by Brian Lauer - "Chitabe-60" • cocoparisienne - "elephant herd of elephants animals"

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